WOA gets $5M for lupin protein-enhanced oat-milk plant

Grain Central, August 7, 2023

Wide Open Agriculture has received a $5M grant from the WA Government to build a facility in which to make oat milk enhanced with lupin protein. Photo: WOA

PERTH-based company Wide Open Agriculture has received a $5-million grant from the Western Australian Government’s Investment Attraction Fund to establish a production facility for Buntine Protein-enhanced oat milk.

The facility will be located in WA, one of the world’s leading oat producers and exporters, and will initially produce oat milk in various formats using WOA’s proprietary lupin-based plant protein, Buntine Protein.

The new facility is projected to potentially increase WOA’s domestic production capabilities, enhance manufacturing efficiencies, and reduce costs, while enabling WOA to navigate rapidly evolving consumer beverage markets effectively.

The grant will be allocated in stages based on specific milestones and reporting achievements, with critical steps including the execution of the Financial Assistance Agreement and securing necessary approvals for construction and operation of the plant, due to be finished in June 2025.

Initial production at the plant is expected this year.

Located beside the previously announced Buntine Protein pilot plant, the facility is expected to produce a range of oat milk in 1-litre and ready-to-drink formats, featuring the company’s lupin-based Buntine Protein as an ingredient.

When fully operational, WOA will gain the ability to introduce a novel beverage into global markets, rivalling traditional dairy in protein content, yet maintaining a coveted creamy mouthfeel.

The new facility is also anticipated to bring about significant cost reductions. These savings would
likely stem from enhanced manufacturing efficiencies, improved supply chain operations, and
reductions in tariffs on exports to key markets such as South-east Asia.

Beyond cost savings, the facility should also speed up the new product development process for future product releases.

“We are immensely grateful for the support and trust vested in us by the Western Australian Government,” WOA chief executive officer Jay Albany said.

“This grant is not only a financial boost, but it’s also a testament to the viability and potential of our high protein oat milk.

“As we move forward, we’re more excited than ever to see our plans materialise, harnessing this opportunity to champion a new era of sustainable, innovative, and delicious plant-based nutrition.”

WA Premier Roger Cook said the grant program enabled the WA Government to back local companies to manufacture in WA, and value-add, and take on the world in developing high-tech products for
the future.”

The first critical milestone involves the successful execution of the FAA. Following that, other
milestones include obtaining the necessary regulatory and planning approvals for the construction
and operation of the plant-based milk plant. Upon the successful completion of all the prescribed
project milestones, the company will have accessed the total grant sum.

Detailed information about the respective milestones and their corresponding fund allocations can
be found in Annexure A. It should also be noted, final design and cost estimates are still being
finalised and may require additional capital beyond the funding mentioned in this announcement.
Buntine Protein® Oat Milk Successfully Manufactured into a RTD Prototype
Dirty Clean Food’s Buntine Protein® oat milk recently reached an important milestone. The
innovative, nutrient-dense beverage was successfully manufactured into a ready-to-drink
prototype (RTD), smartly packaged in a 330ml aluminum can. This confirms that Buntine Protein®
can be processed, pasteurised and stably housed in a RTD format. The product has also been well
received in preliminary consumer taste testing.

Source: Wide Open Agriculture


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